CAT : Temporary service before April 2004 makes eligible for benefit for old pension under GPF rules
The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) ruled that the temporary service before April 2004 to be considered to be eligible for the retirement benefits including eligibility for old pension scheme.
The Madras bench of the CAT has directed the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam, to provide GPF and other benefits under Central civil service (pension) rules 1972 to 16 employees absorbed as temporary workers in 1999.
The ruling is against a petition filed by K. Punniyakoti of Kalpakkam and 15 others prayed for a direction to the Central government and IGCAR to extend to them the benefit of pension under the old government pension scheme.
The petitioners joined the organisation with temporary status in 1999 and on September 9, 2008, they were appointed as casual labourers in the grade of ‘helper A’. As per the order, 50 per cent of the service rendered under temporary status would be counted for retirement benefits. After three years of service after conferment of temporary status, the casual labourers would be treated on a par with group D employees for the purpose of contribution to general provident fund. They regularised between May 2005 and November 2005.
The government introduced the new pension scheme in April 2004 and the employees who joined service after January 1, 2004 were to be be covered under the new scheme and will not have the benefits of the old pension scheme. Employees who joined service prior to January 1, 2004 will be governed by the general provident fund/contributory provident fund as per the Central civil service (pension) rules 1972.
The IGCAR contented that as the petitioners joined service after January 1, 2004, they would only be governed by the new pension scheme.
The judicial member of the bench, B. Venkateswara Rao directed IGCAR to apply provisions of the Central civil service (pension) rules 1972 in respect of the employees and extend benefit under GPF rules. The bench also directed IGCAR to deduct monthly subscription regularly without interruption. The order is to be complied with within two months.
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